Hundreds gather searching for hope in prayer vigil honoring family killed in Rock Hill shooting


YORK COUNTY, S.C. (FOX 46) – Hundreds gathered on Sunday evening in Rock Hill to remember the six lives lost when deputies say a former NFL player opened fire at the home of a well-known doctor on Wednesday.

Emotions were high as people remembered the life of Dr. Robert Lesslie and his family at a community prayer vigil. People who showed up say the family’s life was a representation of hope.

Memories were shared about the Lesslie family and the other two victims who died.

“It was very uplifting, quite joyous the way things were presented,” two gatherers said.

About 1,500 people packed Fountain Park to remember them.

“You just never know when it’s going to be your last breath so it’s so important to learn how to live, and they were living for god,” a mourner said. “They were living for other people that meant so much to them.”

“Even though we’re mourning the loss of this great family, we do not mourn without hope. We have hope!” a community member said.

Music, prayers and a message of hope could be heard as church leaders like Pastor Jon Oliphant preached about the love of Jesus during the hour-long service.

“They want him lifted up, they want him glorified, and they want the world to know that there is hope,” Oliphant said.

For those showing up tonight, they say the victims will be missed and their legacy will live on.

“This was just a wonderful testimony,” another community member said. “It really makes me think ‘What am I doing and am I serving others, am I loving?'”

And while their families are mourning right now, the community’s prayers and support are helping them get through.

“They are tired, they are grieving, but they are overwhelmed with the love and support the community and world has shown them,” Oliphant said. “It’s a reminder that our life is so short. We don’t know how long we have in this life and we are here for a purpose to give God glory.”

The family is still asking for prayers as they grieve. Funeral arrangements for the Lesslie’s have not been released but we’re told it will be private.

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